D-Peptide and D-Protein technology: Recent advances, challenges, and opportunities

06 September 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Total chemical protein synthesis provides access to entire D-protein enantiomers enabling unique applications in molecular biology, structural biology, and bioactive compound discovery. Key enzymes involved in the central dogma of molecular biology have been prepared in D-enantiomers facilitating mirror-image replication and transcription of L-DNA. Crystallization of a racemic mixture of L- and D-protein enantiomers provides access to high-resolution X-ray structures of polypeptides. Additionally, D-enantiomers of protein drug targets can be used in mirror-image phage display allowing discovery on non-proteolytic D-peptide ligands as lead candidates. This review discusses the unique applications of D-proteins including the synthetic challenges and opportunities.

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